Upstart’s Trip to OGT’s kelp sites and processing plant in County Donegal, Eire
May proved to be an exciting month for Ted and two of our Upstart customers Sean Duffy from Isleworth Golf Club and Brandon Richey from Lake Nona. Invited by OGT and accompanied by William Citarella they took a trip over to Eire to visit OGT’s kelp processing facility in County Donegal.
The adventure began at Washington airport when they missed the connection to Dublin due to a delayed flight out of Orlando. After an unscheduled overnight lay-over in Washington they were flown to New York to catch the following day’s flight to Dublin. Potentially this meant losing a full day out of a four-day stay, but OGT graciously extended their visit and re-scheduled their return flight so they could still enjoy the full planned itinerary.
Following a car journey from Dublin to Donegal they were greeted with the spectacular scenery of the mountainous west coast of County Donegal and taken to view OGT’s kelp sites and processing plant beneath Sliabh League, Europe’s highest sea cliffs. They learned that OGT is perfectly placed to take advantage of the natural resource of Ascophyllum nodosum that grows abundantly in the cold waters of the Irish west coast and their harvesting sites are strictly monitored to ensure the locations remain pristine and unpolluted. The kelp is still traditionally cut by local harvesters and the harvesting areas carefully rotated to ensure sustainable management of the resources.
A fascinating tour of the processing plant showed the kelp arriving in containers and being hand selected and washed before undergoing OGT’s unique extraction process which bursts the cells without using chemicals or high heat, but using a pressure system that keeps the extract as close as possible to it’s natural properties as well as 100% soluble. It was a great experience to see first-hand how this amazing product, which is proving to be extremely successful for Florida’s golf courses, is produced in this environmentally, sustainable way on the other side of the Atlantic.
Of course a day in Ireland could not be complete without a couple of pints of Guinness and the boys found a great local bar and soon felt quite at home – Sean even got invited to an Irish wedding! The trip included a round of golf at the amazing Ballyliffin, one of the finest golf resorts in the World with two outstanding links courses overlooking spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean. They had a fantastic day, but we won’t mention how many balls they lost!
A guided tour around the local wool factory where they produce beautiful traditional Irish sweaters, hats, scarves which proved to be irresistible and Ted came home with a fine wool hat and scarf – just the thing for the Florida weather!
An overnight stay in Galway involved another taste of that beautiful black nectar that is Guinness in Tig Coilli one of the most popular pubs where they play traditional Irish music and the crowds spill out on to the street on warm summer evenings. Having discovered they were over from the USA the guys were bought a round of drinks by the very hospitable landlord!
Strolling around the docks they got some great fishing tips from local fisherman who have been using the same traditional methods of fishing for hundreds of years, and back in Dublin there was also time for some sight-seeing, before the flight home, at Trinity College and Dublin Castle in the heart of Dublin’s historic center. Dublin Castle stands at the junction of the River Liffey and the Poddle where it is thought there may have once been an early Gaelic Ring Fort.
Throughout the trip they met some amazing people and were treated like VIP’s by the staff at OGT, nothing was too much trouble and their busy itinerary gave them a fascinating insight into the production of OGT’s organic seaweed products and a wonderful snapshot of Ireland’s spectacular countryside and friendly people.